The Catholic church is like the widowed mother of Nain in today’s Gospel from Luke, Pope Francis tells us. According to Vatican Radio, the pope sees the church as a mother who protects her children so that she can bring them to Jesus, just as the woman from Nain brought to him her son who had died. He goes on to call her “an icon of the church, because the church is in a sense widow.”
The Francis Chronicles
The full text of a letter by Pope Francis to Dr. Eugenio Scalfari, a journalist at the Italian newspaper, “La Rebubblica” has been published on the Vatican website:
In the letter, Francis makes three major points, as originally reported by NCR’s John Allen.
Tom Watson, a Forbes magazine contributor who focuses on technology and social change, is the latest commentator to wake up to the Pope Francis phenom.
Under the headline "Social Media Star: Peace, Love and a New Understanding," he writes:
Although we focus much of our attention on Pope Francis' smiles and spontaneity, looking closer, we can also find that he is gently but firmly imploring us to weep.
On Saturday, at the Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Francis challenged Catholics to come face to face with human misery so they can fully appreciate Jesus' crucifixion.
Pope Francis keeps making news almost every day with spontaneous phone calls to laypeople, his willingness to dialogue with a journalist who is an atheist and his decision to stop naming monsignors. And now comes his newly named Secretary of State, saying the church needs a "more democratic spirit" in these times.
Catholics must stay involved in political government, especially through prayer, Pope Francis said Monday in his morning homily, continuing with his call for prayer for peace in the world, according to Vatican Radio.
Pope Francis returned yet again to the theme of the endless mercy of God in his Sunday Angelus address. After six months, it's fair to say this theme rests at the heart of his pontificate.
In his very first Angelus March 17 at the Vatican's parish church of St. Anne's, he spoke of mercy: "For me, and I say this humbly, the strongest message of the Lord is mercy," he told the parishioners. On that day, he said God never stops forgiving, but people often stop going to God for forgiveness, adding that one should never stop asking for forgiveness as it is always given.
“There is no such thing as innocent gossip,” Pope Francis tells us in his homily today.
Analysis: Pope Francis' openness to the world beyond the Vatican walls may be dividing the faithful, but it's not a new move.